Knights jump on Magee in Game 1
By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
May 4, 2004
MAGEE West Lauderdale head baseball coach Jerry Boatner threw the coach's notebook out the window with his team trailing the Magee Trojans 2-1 in the top of the fourth inning on Monday.
The long-time Knights coach signaled catcher Cody Freeman to bunt with the bases loaded and one out. Freeman didn't let his coach down, pushing the ball past Magee's pitcher and allowing Tyler Vick to score to tie the game at two.
West Lauderdale tallied two more runs to take a 4-2 lead in the third, and the Knights (27-6) didn't relinquish the lead rest of the way en route to a 7-3 win over Magee (18-11) in the opening game of the best-of-three series in the second round of the MHSAA Class 3A baseball playoffs.
Knights shortstop Bo Davis produced the go-ahead run after the bunt with a fielder's choice to bring home Austin Davis for a 3-2 advantage, and Parker Temple scored the final run of the third for West Lauderdale on a wild pitch.
West Lauderdale pitcher Ricky Gardner (5-1) retired Magee's batters in order in the bottom of the third, striking out one.
Davis brought home the fifth run of the game for the Knights in the top of the fifth with a sacrifice bunt to the right of the pitcher's mound that allowed Jay Warren to score. Temple drove in another run in the fifth with a single to left-center field to bring home Vick for a 6-2 lead.
Magee pushed West Lauderdale's lead to the limit in the bottom of the fifth.
With two outs, Trojans catcher Jacob Thames hit a double to left-center field to put runners on second and third, and the Knights intentionally walked the next batter.
The move to produce a force out at every base backfired, as Magee first baseman Toney May hit a grounder that the Knights' infield couldn't handle, allowing one run to score.
Magee third baseman Michael McGee scared West Lauderdale with the next at-bat, smashing a first-pitch offering to deep center field. The hard-hit fly ball ended in Temple's glove just in front of the wall for the third out and preserved a 6-3 lead for the Knights.
Vick provided West Lauderdale with an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning, with a solo home run over the left-center field wall.
Magee took a 2-0 in the bottom of the second inning on a pair of RBI singles by Cory Boles and Kelly Eubanks, but West Lauderdale cut its deficit to 2-1 in the top of third scoring on a bases-loaded walk issued to Drew Snider.
Gardner picked up the win, throwing a complete game. The freshman gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits with five strikeouts. Magee's Josh Logan took the loss giving up seven runs, five earned, off eight hits with eight strikeouts in seven innings of work.
West Lauderdale hosts the second game of the series against Magee today at 6 p.m. A third game, if necessary, will be played at Magee on Thursday.